June 20, 2024

General Motors is confident that Costco is the ticket to boosting its slowed electric-vehicle sales. More specifically, the automaker is tapping into the retailer’s Auto Program.

Marissa West, GM’s North America president, told CNBC in an interview that she is “really bullish on Costco.” The executive added that she and her team see a “huge opportunity” in the retailer as it relates to the expansion of GM’s vehicle portfolio, including its EVs.

Costco’s member’s-only auto program does not sell cars, but it does help shoppers connect with dealerships to purchase new and pre-owned vehicles. Operating as a go-between, Costco’s Auto Program works with other companies, such as GMC and Volvo. It also offers deals and incentives, and provides access to both gas-powered cars and EV models.

Currently, Costco members are eligible for a $1,000 incentive if they lease or buy a new 2023 or 2024 Chevrolet model. Included in that promotion, which ends on July 31, is GM’s Chevrolet Blazer EV and the Chevrolet Equinox EV.

With automakers racing to produce EVs, GM’s partnership with Costco could push the automaker further along than some of its competitors, such as Tesla, Rivian, and Volkswagen. However, GM has not shared specifics as to how many vehicles it’s sold through the Costco program.

Jay Maxwell, a general manager in charge of partnerships for Costco’s Auto Program, said that on average in the past five years, the program has reported 500,000 car sales annually. The wholesale retailer has over 70 million household members, and according to Maxwell, members welcome “new things” such as EVs. (Separately, books are something that the retailer isn’t so sure about).

Maxwell argued that Costco’s program is a “great way for the automakers to market and get their EVs in front of people that are interested.” He added that Costco “has a very strong demographic that fits well with EV buyers.”

Indeed, GM could stand to benefit. According to data from technology company Numerator, Costco’s leading shopping demographic is high-earning consumers who make over $125,000 annually. That’s followed by middle-income shoppers who make between $40,000 and $125,000 a year, the platform found.

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